by John Steinberger | August 13, 2019 6:22 pm
Forte Jazz Lounge, located at 477 King Street, opened its doors August 1. It offers two jazz band shows per night at 7 pm and 9:30 pm Thursday through Saturday. Ticket prices range from $17 to $27. The VIP couch seating is right up to the stage.
Owner Joe Clarke is a long-time music teacher at Charleston County School of the Arts. The Citadel graduate has been a musical performer in Charleston for 30 years. He also also heads up the 16-piece Joe Clarke Big Band. Clarke says that jazz is enjoying a renewal and that Charleston has seen an influx of great jazz musicians in recent years. Forte Jazz Lounge has a wide variety of jazz bands on its schedule, some of which perform programs dedicated to the works of legendary artists like Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Clarke’s band performs free rehearsals every Monday from 7 pm to 9 pm. Patrons may order craft beer, wine, and non-alcohol beverages from the bar during the rehearsals. With the 2019-2020 school year just days away, Clarke plans to offer jazz classes to students on Sunday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm and include students in Sunday evening performances. He said, “I want more teenagers to experience the beauty of jazz.”
Tickets to the Forte Jazz Lounge shows may be purchased on-line or by calling 843-637-4931. Walk-in patrons are welcome if seats are available.
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